Zuckerberg says Facebook is ready to profit from shift to remote work

Andrew Cummings
August 10, 2020

Facebook Inc. plans to hire more remote workers in areas where the company doesn't have an office, and let some current employees work from home permanently if they'd like to.

Twitter went even further, announcing last week that it will allow some employees to work from home on a permanent basis, a plan CEO Jack Dorsey hatched before the coronavirus.

Zuckerberg sounded pretty sure in an interview with the BBC that the upcoming United States election will see attempts at interference, but said his company has learned a lot over the past four years, after an alleged army of Russian trolls was suspected of coordinated action on Facebook against Democratic Party candidate Hilary Clinton.

Approximately 95% of Facebook's workforce are now doing their jobs remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and employees have previously been told they can work from their home for the rest of of they year if they can do so productively, Mr.


According to the Zuckerberg, Facebook will begin "aggressively" opening up remote hiring. Facebook had more than 48,000 global staff at the end of March.

Several tech firms have since announced that they will allow employees to permanently work remotely after the pandemic, including both Twitter and Square, among others. But the company's work-from-home flexibility has fit with the software giant's broader effort to capitalize on what CEO Satya Nadella calls a shift to "remote everything".

For companies that have built their empires by allowing people to communicate with remote friends and colleagues, moving toward remote work is not a hard sale.

He outlined steps Facebook will take to adapt operations to remote work for the long-term, saying it is quite possible that about half of the company's employees could doing their jobs that way within 10 years.


"We'll localize everybody's comp on January 1", he said. "They can do whatever they want through the rest of the year, but by the end of the year they should either come back to the Bay Area or they need to tell us where they are". "That's a much more sensitive topic", said Zuckerberg.

There is also a potential environmental benefit, Zuckerberg said, pointing out that pollution and emissions have dipped as people have stopped traveling.

Companies like Facebook and Google have changed work culture by offering employees never-ending perks, like free food, shuttles to work and even laundry. "It is learning the culture and rhythms of interacting with colleagues via video conference and doing your work remotely", he said, speaking not only of Microsoft but of workplaces in general. "We're kind of just gliding forward", he said.

"Countries are going to continue to try and interfere and we are going to see issues like that, but we have learnt a lot since 2016 and I feel pretty confident that we are going to be able to protect the integrity of the upcoming election", Zuckerberg said. The company had planned to start moving employees into the space this year. When Facebook reopens some of its offices in July, it plans to reduce occupancy to just 25% with other safety requirements for its employees before coming into the office. "If anything we just don't have enough office space", Zuckerberg said. "That's not really the approach", Zuckerberg explained.


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